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Notre Dame National Championships

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Notre Dame National Championships

The national championship team in college football generally is considered to be the top-rated squad in the final rankings issued each year by the poll of sportswriters and broadcasters (Associated Press) and the poll of coaches (United Press International through 1990, USA Today/CNN since 1991).

Since the AP began certifying the winner of its national crown in 1936, Notre Dame has won more national championships than any other team in the country. The Irish have won eight titles (1943-46-47-49-66-73-77-88) -- with Oklahoma second on the list with six.

The coaches' poll has voted a national champion since 1950. Notre Dame has won three UPI titles (1966-77-88) during that period. Only USC and Oklahoma with five each have won more. The UPI poll was taken following the end of the regular season each year until the 1974 season when the coaches first waited until the bowl games were conducted to issue their final rankings.

The NCAA also recognizes national championships awarded by the Football Writers Association of America and by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

The FWAA has presented the Grantland Rice Award since 1954, with Notre Dame earning the trophy in 1966, '73, '77 and '88. The National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame has presented the MacArthur Bowl to its national champion since 1959. Notre Dame has won it on five occasions -- 1964, '66 (tie with Michigan State), '73, '77 and '88.

A variety of other rating systems have been recognized over the years in attempting to determine the top team in college football each season.

Notre Dame generally is considered to have earned 11 consensus national titles (1924-29-30-43-46-47-49-66-73-77-88). But there have been 19 seasons in which Notre Dame has qualified as a national champion from at least one legitimate poll, with all teams receiving national championship mention and their individual selectors noted.

Here are Notre Dame's 11 consensus seasons:

Year    Team         Record    Coach        Selector
1924     Notre Dame      10-0       Knute Rockne   DS, Helms,   Boand, FR, Houl, 
                                                   NCF, Poling
         Pennsylvania     9-1-1     Lou Young      Davis
1929     Notre Dame       9-0       Knute Rockne   DS, Dunkel, Boand, Helms, FR,
                                                   NCF, Poling
         Pittsburgh       9-1       J. Sutherland  Davis
         USC             10-2       Howard Jones   Houlgate
1930     Notre Dame      10-0       Knute Rockne   All but FR, tie for Davis
         Alabama         10-0       Wallace Wade   Davis (tie), FR
1943     Notre Dame       9-1       Frank Leahy    Unanimous
1946     Notre Dame       8-0-1     Frank Leahy    AP, Dunkel, LS, Devold, NCF,
                                                   Helms (tie), Boand (tie), Poling (tie)
         Army             9-0-1     Red Blaik      Houlgate, FR, Boand (tie), Helms (tie),
                                                   Poling (tie)
         Georgia         11-0       Wally Butts    WS
1947     Notre Dame       9-0       Frank Leahy    AP, WS, Helms (tie)
         Michigan        10-0       Fritz Crisler  Dunkel, LS, Houlgate, Helms (tie),
                                                   Boand, FR, Devold, NCF, Poling
1949     Notre Dame      10-0       Frank Leahy    All but FR
         Oklahoma        11-0       Bud Wilkinson  FR
1966     Notre Dame       9-0-1     Ara Parseghian AP, UPI, FWAA, Dunkel,LS, 
                                                   Devold, FN, Matthews, 
                                                   NFFHF (tie), Helms (tie) 
         Michigan State   9-0-1     D. Daugherty   FR, Helms (tie), NFFHF (tie)
1973     Notre Dame      11-0       Ara Parseghian AP, FWAA, NFFHF, Helms, FN
         Alabama         10-1       Bear Bryant    UPI
         Oklahoma        10-0-1     Barry Switzer  Dunkel, FR, Devold 
1977     Notre Dame      11-1       Dan Devine     All but FR (tie)
         Alabama         11-1       Bear Bryant    FR (tie)
1988     Notre Dame      12-0       Lou Holtz      Unanimous
Here are the other eight seasons Notre Dame received some mention:
1919     Harvard          9-0-1     Bob Fisher     Unanimous
         Notre Dame       9-0       Knute Rockne   Davis (tie), NCF
         Illinois         6-1       Bob Zuppke     Davis (tie), FR (tie), Boand
1920     California       9-0       Andy Smith     Helms, FR, Houl.,NCF
         Notre Dame       9-0       Knute Rockne   Davis (tie)
         Princeton        6-0-1     Bill Roper     Davis (tie), Boand (tie)
         Harvard          8-0-1     Robert Fisher  Boand (tie)
1927     Illinois         7-0-1     Bob Zuppke     DS, Davis, Helms, NCF
         Yale             7-1       T.A.D. Jones   FR
         Notre Dame       7-1-1     Knute Rockne   Houl.
         Georgia          9-1       G. Woodruff    Boand, Poling
1938     Tennessee       11-0       Bob Neyland    Dunkel, LS, Boand, Houl.,FR, Poling
         TCU             11-0       Dutch Meyer    AP,WS, Helms, NCF
         Notre Dame       8-1       Elmer Layden   DS
1953     Notre Dame       9-0-1     Frank Leahy    All but AP, UP, FRI
         Maryland        10-1       Jim Tatum      AP, UPI
         Oklahoma         9-1-1     Bud Wilkinson  FR
1964     Alabama         10-1       Bear Bryant    AP,UPI, LS
         Arkansas        11-0       Frank Broyles  FWAA, Helms, FR
         Notre Dame       9-1       Ara Parseghian NFFHF, Devold, FN
         Michigan         9-1       Bump Elliott   Dunkel
1967     USC             10-1       John McKay     All but Dunkel, LS
         Notre Dame       8-2       Ara Parseghian Dunkel
         Tennessee        9-2       Doug Dickey    LS
1970     Nebraska        11-0-1     Bob Devaney    AP, FWAA, Dunkel, Helms, FR, Devold, FN
         Texas           10-1       Darrell Royal  UPI, LS, NFFHF (tie)
         Ohio State       9-1       Woody Hayes    NFFHF (tie)
         Notre Dame      10-1       Ara Parseghian Matthew

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